227. Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs (Hartman) to Secretary of State Kissinger1


  • The Basket III Case

In my discussion with Korniyenko today I led him through the whole problem of Basket III in Geneva. We reviewed together what had been agreed at Helsinki, namely that proposals would be prepared in Stage II on:

Human Contacts—to facilitate freer movement including reunification of families, travel for personal or professional reasons, etc.
Information—to facilitate the freer and wider dissemination of printed, filmed, and broadcast information; improving conditions for journalists, etc.
Cooperation in the field of culture—to facilitate cooperation and exchanges in this area.
Cooperation in the field of education—to promote greater interchange.

I said that the Europeans felt a deal had been struck in Helsinki that, in return for agreement to write detailed principles (Basket I) which the Soviets wanted, the Soviets agreed to write proposals on human contacts (Basket III). The Europeans are now reluctant to consider further compromise (the Finnish proposal) until they see some evidence that the Soviets are making good on their part of the bargain.

Korniyenko made the usual disparaging remarks about “hundreds of proposals about minor matters that could not possibly be the subject of major international undertakings to compare with the grand declaration of principles.” I advised him that the first step on the road to positive thinking on this subject was to stop making the problem more massive than it is. The Finnish text will eventually protect their position and the job now was to agree to a selection of texts that in effect were largely hortatory. I then gave him, as an example, the two attached texts. The first is an old Canadian text (Tab A) on family reunification. The second is a revised text which we helped guide through the NATO caucus (Tab B).2 Our delegation had made every effort to get a text the Soviets could accept. At a meeting on June 26 between the Soviet delegation and a small group of NATO representatives,3 the Soviet delegation paid virtually no attention to this effort. I asked Korniyenko to examine the text carefully and tell me why they could not accept it.

I also gave Korniyenko the titles of a few proposals—I stressed that I did not know if these were the latest ones—on:

  • contacts and travel (Belgian);
  • working conditions for journalists (FRG);
  • printed information (Italy);
  • freer flow of information (Swiss); and
  • cultural cooperation (France).

I stressed that progress in registering these texts would make progress on the Finnish compromise possible and indeed might even get us through Stage II.

Korniyenko agreed to get detailed information and texts from his staff in Moscow. He ended by saying that his representative hesitated to give [Page 677] on Basket III for fear of being pushed to do more and more. I advised him to get some frank advice from Ambassador Sherer who would give him his best advice on how to make progress.

I frankly think that this is as far as we should go in Moscow. We do not have the latest texts or the arcane expertise to give very good advice from here. If you want to go further, in addition to advising close contact with Sherer, the attached paper (Tab C) could be given to Gromyko.4 It lists areas where proposals should be agreed.

Tab C

Paper Prepared in the Bureau of European Affairs5

Substance of Basket III

While we cannot give an agreed Western view on an acceptable substantive outcome in Basket III, we can offer our best assessment of the areas that must be covered. We would of course seek to be helpful in seeking compromise formulations.

We believe the final package under basket 3 must include liberally worded declaratory texts pledging participants to (a) facilitate family reunification, and (b) improve access to information of various forms. These will be indispensable, our Allies believe, to overall success of CSCE.

Moreover, we believe that agreement on most of the following matters should be reflected in basket 3:

  • —A code of conduct pledging improved working conditions for journalists;
  • —Acceptance in principle of freer contacts for religious purposes;
  • —Some indication of willingness to permit opening of foreign libraries and reading rooms in several cities in all CSCE participant states;
  • —General language on stimulating freer travel, including statements on giving to citizens of all participating states facilities allowing them to travel more freely and on the general principle of freer movement;
  • —Indication of willingness to reduce internal travel controls, along lines of extending the recent relaxation of controls on foreign diplomatic travel in the USSR to journalists, businessmen, and others;
  • —Language on cessation of radio jamming, which could be interpreted as an assurance that jamming of official broadcasts in vernacular languages (VOA, BBC, and Deutsche Welle) would not be resumed.

On all of the above issues, we believe the texts should be generally worded, establishing a political and moral obligation on participants, but not entailing binding commitments to specific and detailed courses of action.

  1. Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box CL 229, Geopolitical File, Soviet Union, Summits, 1974, June–July, Chronological File. Confidential. Sonnenfeldt wrote a note at the top of the first page: “HAK: I think you should agree with Gromyko on giving instructions to Sherer and Kovalyev in Geneva to carry on where we left off with Korniyenko.”
  2. Tabs A and B are attached but not printed.
  3. Telegram 4110 from Geneva, June 28, contains a summary of the revised text and an account of the meeting on June 26. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files)
  4. There is no indication that the paper at Tab C was given to Gromyko.
  5. No classification marking.